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Hand-Shaped Pasta, Old World Style

Fine Cooking Issue 20

Making pasta by hand is not so much a matter of following instructions as it is the learning of a craft. For more than 70 years, the Costantino family has been practicing that craft at Venda Ravioli, their store in the heart of Federal Hill—Providence, Rhode Island’s Little Italy. They begin each day by combining semolina flour and farm-fresh eggs to make a smooth egg dough. Next, they prepare fillings from ingredients such as wild mushrooms, pumpkin, eggplant, or lobster.

Then Josephine Lomartire and her co-workers shape the dough and fillings into hundreds of tortelloni, agnolotti, and ravioli. These handmade pastas, unlike those shaped by machine, are tender, delicate, and fresh tasting.

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